A teocalli (Nahuatl: "God-house") is a Mesoamerican pyramid surmounted by a temple.[1] The pyramid is terraced, and some of the most important religious rituals in Pre-Columbian Mexico took place in the temple at the top of the pyramid.[1]

The teocalli of Cholula

The famous, although no longer extant, Aztec Huey Teocalli ("Great Temple," Spanish, Templo Mayor) was located next to what is now Mexico City's main square, the Zócalo. A famous 1848 painting by Emanuel Leutze depicts The Storming of Teocalli by Cortez and his Troops, which Leutze painted four years before his classic Washington Crossing the Delaware. One of the Cuban poet José María Heredia's best-known poems is titled En el teocalli de Cholula.

In contemporary cultureEdit

The term is also used in a modern context by Chicano people involved in the Native American Church. Chicano chapters of the Native American Church refer to the organization as a "teocalli."[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Humboldt, Alexander von (2013-01-25). Views of the Cordilleras and Monuments of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: A Critical Edition. University of Chicago Press. p. 403. ISBN 978-0-226-86509-6.

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne. {{cite encyclopedia}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)